Thursday, May 2, 2024

Memo: DEQ Secretary dispels misinformation and urges EMC to take action

May 2, 2024

To: Interested Parties
From: Sharon Martin, Deputy Secretary for Public Affairs
Date:  May 2, 2024
Re:  DEQ Secretary dispels misinformation and urges EMC to take action

Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser sent two letters to dispel misinformation and urge action as DEQ works to address PFAS contamination and protect the public health and financial well-being of North Carolinians.

In response to an April 22 letter from the North Carolina Chamber, Secretary Biser addresses misinformation about the State’s effort to propose state surface water and groundwater standards. Secretary Biser has also offered to meet with Chamber members to provide information about this process as well as the threat PFAS contamination poses to the health, economy and financial well-being of North Carolina communities.

The Secretary’s letter explains why DEQ’s proposed rulemaking is necessary to reduce PFAS contamination in North Carolina’s drinking water sources and how state surface and groundwater standards work in conjunction with the federal drinking water standards issued by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on April 10.  The letter also explains that reducing discharges of PFAS entering our state water supplies is the most cost-effective way to meet the new drinking water standards and that absent DEQ’s proposed rulemaking actions, the entire burden of complying with the new drinking water standards will fall to public water systems and North Carolina ratepayers.

In a separate letter, Secretary Biser also urged the members of the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) to move forward on proposed groundwater rules next week. Secretary Biser expressed her disappointment that the EMC’s Groundwater and Waste Management Committee delayed a vote to move forward on the rulemaking by requesting an informational item for the agenda instead.

Read Secretary Biser’s letters to the NC Chamber and the EMC.